The U.S. is preparing to put in place new policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half. If effective, they will meet the U.S.’s pledge of achieving this goal by 2035. Measures to address carbon emissions and mitigate climate change are needed now more than ever with wildfires raging all around the world and for the fourth year in a row in California. These policies and goals after Congress has approved the U.S.’s infrastructure bill will serve as a roadmap for the measures that will need to be taken both in the public and private sectors.
House leaders are set to vote on the infrastructure and budget measures as soon as Tuesday. The expectation is that, with approval of the infrastructure bill, policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half will become much more feasible. This is because a lot of the policies are focused on automobile manufacturing.
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A new executive order signed by President Joe Biden on August 5 calls for half of all new vehicle sales in the US to be electric by 2030 and in California, the governor has ordered all new vehicle sales to be electric by 2035. On top of this, another $5 billion is going towards the government purchasing electric school buses. Moreover, the $7.5 billion of the infrastructure bill going towards building electric charging stations is playing a key role in the process. The accessibility to charging stations is key to the mainstream adoption of electric vehicles.
The switch from internal combustion vehicles to electric vehicles will reduce the carbon emissions coming from vehicles – but what about the energy sources to produce electricity?
To avoid increased carbon emissions from the rising demand for electricity to charge the growing number of electric vehicles, the sources for energy needs to change. As a result, $65 billion has been set aside for new renewable energy generation from solar, wind, and green hydrogen. Solar and wind energy will provide the power for the electrolysis process to produce green hydrogen. The green hydrogen can then be used on a large scale to produce vast amounts of electricity.
To transport this energy in a much more efficient way and reach more people, the aging electric grid system needs to be renewed and updated. This will be achieved by building new transmission lines with higher voltage capacities.
To cut carbon emissions in half will require converting the energy sources from coal-burning carbon-emitting sources to clean renewables and making it more accessible so that different parts of society are reached and able to charge vehicles as well as power homes and buildings. This is a demanding plan and it requires the bill to provide the infrastructure to make it possible.
Each policy designed to reduce emissions is also an opportunity to create good jobs and improve social equity and better salaries.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could create around 650,000 new jobs, according to an estimate by Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. Pay could average about $70,000 a year for the jobs Zandi’s referring to, some of them in manufacturing. What is coming out of the infrastructure bill is similar to President Roosevelt’s New Deal infrastructure project to counter the Great Depression and build up America’s infrastructure, boosting the economy.
Today, the budget authorizes up to $135 billion across five years for a Civilian Climate Corps to be composed of hundreds of thousands of young workers to be paid $15 an hour and receive educational benefits for work on renewable energy projects and community conservation. These programs will provide steady work for thousands of individuals while building and maintaining systems that will preserve our planet from the harmful effects of global warming.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com. — In the Featured Photo: Electric car charging station . Featured Photo Credit: Erik Mclean